All hail Arizona exceptionalism!
You read that right. A bill introduced
in the Arizona legislature by tea party nitwit Rep. Steve Smith has the NRA in a tizzy, mostly because HB 2291
could put a big dent in the bottom line of the NRA's main ally—gun manufacturers.
I wrote the other day that Rep. Smith is the clown who sponsored the border fence donation scheme in 2011, but that boondoggle failed miserably, making him look like a bigger idiot than we thought he was. So now Smith needs another dog whistle to deflect attention from his border blunder, keep his name in the headlines, and satisfy the Obama-hatin', gun-lovin' knuckle draggers in his district.
The President's measured response to Newtown and other mass murders gave Rep. Smith his opening. What better way to rile up Arizona's states-rights loonies than with a bill that says it's illegal to enforce federal restrictions of our beloved guns? And that's what Rep. Smith's bill says: it's a felony, punishable by up to a year in jail, if local, state or federal officials enforce Obama's new policies—never mind that no regulations have been passed, Smith's out ahead of the curve (as are goobers in at least ten other states).
Tea party darling Rep. Carl Seel is one of the bill's cosponsors. If Seel's name rings a bell, it's probably because he's the pinhead who introduced birther bills two years in a row—his failed and embarrassing attempt to keep Obama's name off the state ballot. Last session Seel even flew to NYC to huddle with Donald Trump—a research trip, he called it. Check out Seel at this weekend's Gun Appreciation Day rally at the State Capitol in Phoenix. If you don't want to wade through all the "Guns and God" garbage, Seel's act starts at the 56-second mark. I'll add a transcript of that part below. (My brain would melt down if I tried to transcribe the comments of the fellow after Seel, who says Jesus wants us to have AR-15s.)
SEEL: "How many of you think the federal government should just go fly a kite?"
GOOD OLD BOYS: "Yeah! Rah-Rah!"
SEEL: "How many of you want federal bureaucrats coming into this state and telling you what to do with your firearms?"
GOOD OLD BOYS: "Boo! Hiss!"
SEEL: "Good, 'cause this bill tells the federal government to go fly a kite!"
GOOD OLD BOYS: "Yeah!"
SEEL: "If they try to tell the people of this great state what to do with their firearms, well, we'll show them what we're going to do with our firearms."
Aside from the Sharron Angle-like "Second Amendment remedies" allusion at the end, which smacks of treason from a sitting legislator, Seel and Smith, who purport to worship the Constitution (at least one
of its Amendments anyway), seem to have forgotten that the Civil War solved the whole federal-state question, and they're way
out of bounds with their macho "we'll show the feds" bullshit. They might want to check out the supremacy clause.
Rep. Seel said in an interview that he's "sure the NRA would support this [bill]," but he should've checked with them first, because the NRA has a major problem with Smith's legislation, not because it's a constitutional dead-ender, but because, if enacted, the measure would cut into gun sales in Arizona. And we know who the NRA really speaks for—not the 4 million moms and dads they talk about in their ads, but the gun and ammo manufacturers who sit on the NRA board and shell out large donations to the group.
Todd Rathner of the National Rifle Association said he appreciates the sentiment behind the proposal by Rep. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, to provide some protection for those who believe that new laws and regulations being proposed by the president are illegal.
"I like the message he's trying to send,'' said Rathner. But the Tucson resident said Monday he has "real concerns'' about how such a state law would affect federally licensed firearms dealers who would be put in a position of whether to obey state or federal laws. East Valley Tribune
In other words, if gun shops don't follow new federal regulations, and sell a 30-round clip, for instance, because Smith's bill provides for an Arizona exceptionalism, the feds will yank the dealer's license. Without that license, weapons manufacturers won't supply the state's gun shops, because they'd face federal prosecution if they did, jeopardizing sales in 49 other states.
Oops! Smith's knee-jerk grab for headlines and tea party toadying seems like it'll be as successful as his border fence howler. Now he's pissed off the NRA, gun dealers, and the feds. Rep. Smith, who has a marketing degree and works for a talent agency, said he's "sending a message to the President"—the constitutional scholar. Yeah, some message: I'm still an idiot.
UPDATE: Rep. Steve Smith just keeps on keepin' on! This has nothing to do with his gun bill, but everything to do with his alleged brain. Today we learned that Smith introduced another bill that would allow disgraced Sen. Russell Pearce to be reimbursed for costs during his 2011 recall election! Pearce was the author of SB 1070, a Class A bigot who even the conservative voters in Mesa sent packing. So I suppose every unsuccessful candidate now will be able to apply for reimbursement. The R's anyway.